Top 3 Tips for Managing Paper

Papers/document pile

Papers/document pile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October is National Clean Out Your Files Month! Woo hoo!

It’s also Improve Your Home Office Week and National Home Based Business Week. Go entrepreneurs!

In celebration of these outrageously fun holidays, here are my three quick paper management tips to kickstart you:

1. Divide and conquer:

Have a specific spot for your Action/To Do papers. Have a filing cabinet close by for those you want to file. And, have that recycling bin and shredder ready and raring to accept more!

2. Process papers on a daily basis:

Why do we brush our teeth everyday? If we didn’t, we’d suffer all sorts of maladies – not to mention that people wouldn’t want to be around us. In other words, life would get miserable. That’s the same thing that will happen if we let our papers pile up – life will get miserable. It sounds counterintuitive, but the more you hate paper, the better it would be for you to process your papers daily so that you’re dealing with a half-inch stack of paper instead of a foot-high pile at the end of the month. Brush your teeth daily; process your papers daily.

3. Set up your filing system by asking yourself what papers you need to retrieve:

For many of us, we don’t actually need to retrieve many of our papers. We just keep them for tax purposes. For those types of papers, toss them into an accordion or hanging file system with January – December slots. Easy as pie. If you’re keeping them for memories, drop them into a file or box for each person in the family. For the papers you do need to retrieve, divide up the stack of papers on your desk into categories. Each one of those categories should become a file.

 
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